Tradespeople reveal the seven most frustrating customer habits

customer habits

New research has revealed the most frustrating customer habits tradespeople have to endure whilst on the job.

The research, conducted by Ultra LEDs, found that customers not being at home after arranging a job tops the list for the most frustrating customer habit.

The top seven most annoying customer habits are:

  1. Not being home

Not only does this waste time, it can also cost a tradesperson money as this is time they could have spent on another job. With the majority of tradespeople being self-employed, any time spent not working is time they aren’t getting paid for.

  1. Constantly asking for progress updates

When working on a job, it’s no surprise that customers constantly asking for progress updates can really irritate a tradesperson. The time it takes to complete a job can of course vary, so it’s not uncommon for jobs to take longer than initially expected.

  1. Adding on extras

Coming in at number three is customers who wait for the tradesperson to arrive and then start adding to the list of agreed jobs by asking them to do additional tasks that have not been quoted for. This is bad enough, but what can make this situation even worse is if the customer is expecting the additional tasks to be done for free. It’s worth noting that most tradespeople quote for jobs by estimating how long they will take and also the cost of buying materials, and thus price jobs up accordingly. This means that if extra tasks are added on top, this could result in the tradesperson being late for their next job and/or incurring more costs themselves.

  1. Not paying on time, or trying to bring the cost down after the work has been agreed

Late payments or asking for discounts after work has commenced can have a damaging impact on a tradespersons’ business, especially for those working for themselves or as part of a small team (particularly during a cost-of-living crisis). This behaviour can also have an impact on their ability to do more jobs or even pay their own bills, as the vast majority of tradespeople will pay for their own tools and materials ahead of the job. This means that anyone not paying on time, or asking for a reduction after the work has started, will be hitting the tradesperson’s bottom line.

  1. Getting harassed by a pet

Not everyone loves pets, especially if it’s an overly aggressive dog that’s barking constantly or just generally getting in the way of the tradesperson. Tradespeople want to get on with their job and they don’t need a pet harassing them; this could be everything from a dog standing and barking at them to a cat climbing up at them or constantly getting in their way. Not only is this occurrence irritating for the tradesperson, it can also potentially be dangerous.

  1. Not having enough room to complete the job

Tradespeople don’t expect you to undertake a full spring clean just for them to be able to do the job, but they will need space to work and will usually have a lot of tools or equipment with them to enable them to complete the work. They will only allocate a certain amount of time for the job so it’s worth making sure none of that time is wasted or used to clear personal items out of the way so they’re able to complete the work.

  1. Not being offered a drink

This one isn’t really annoying but more about common courtesy. For those working hard on the job, they may not have had a chance to stop all day if they’re busy, so being offered a drink can be a life-saver. Even if it’s just a glass of water or a cup of tea, it can be enough to make their day.

Tom Cain, Technical Engineer at Ultra LEDs, says, “As a tradesperson, customer interaction is a key part of the job but it can also be the most frustrating. When you’re on the job, the last thing you want is for the customer to be constantly asking for updates, being barked at by a dog or turning up for them not to be home when you’ve agreed a date and time.

“If you’re having issues with your customers, it can be difficult to remain diplomatic. However, it’s important for both the business and your own personal reputation to remain professional.”

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